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Almora Jr. ranges 87 feet to snare ball in gap

Special to MLB.com

DENVER -- The Cubs got a huge defensive stop on an outstanding play by center fielder Albert Almora Jr. in the bottom of the third inning of a 5-2 loss to the Rockies on Saturday.

With the Cubs up, 2-0, the Rockies had a man on second with two outs and Rockies leadoff hitter DJ LeMahieu, a former batting champ, at the plate. He drove a ball 401 feet into the right-center gap, destined for a run-scoring extra-base hit. Almora raced toward the fence, catching the ball on the run with his back to the plate for a jaw-dropping basket catch as he approached the warning track.

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DENVER -- The Cubs got a huge defensive stop on an outstanding play by center fielder Albert Almora Jr. in the bottom of the third inning of a 5-2 loss to the Rockies on Saturday.

With the Cubs up, 2-0, the Rockies had a man on second with two outs and Rockies leadoff hitter DJ LeMahieu, a former batting champ, at the plate. He drove a ball 401 feet into the right-center gap, destined for a run-scoring extra-base hit. Almora raced toward the fence, catching the ball on the run with his back to the plate for a jaw-dropping basket catch as he approached the warning track.

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"It was an outstanding play," manager Joe Maddon said. "He ran a great route. The moment it was hit, I didn't know how much room there was between him and the fence. And then once he held the ball up, you knew it was a fantastic play."

Statcast™ reports a 71 percent hit probability. Almora traveled 87 feet in 5.2 seconds to make the catch.

The play was instrumental in keeping Cubs starter Yu Darvish -- who had yet to give up a hit at that point -- on track.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver.

Chicago Cubs, Albert Almora Jr.